Extreme weather cost Scotland’s farmers £161 million last year, new analysis from WWF Scotland reveals. Livestock and crops were both affected as heavy spring snows and a hot dry summer sheared 6% from the total agricultural output during 2017-18, compared with the previous year.
More than three metres of snow accumulated in some areas of the UK during the Beast from the East in March last year, leading to many livestock deaths.
Then just a few months later the country was experiencing its second hottest summer on record (on par with 1976) and farmers were forced to buy in feed due to reduced grasses.
These swings between extremes can be directly linked to the Grand Solar Minimum and its continued intensification. Research (Mikhaël Schwander, et al, 2017) suggests low solar activity weakens the jet stream, reverting its usual tight zonal flow (west to east) to a looser, wavier meridional flow (north to south) — this affect is exaggerated further during a GSM and explains why regions become unseasonably hot or cold and others unusually dry or rainy, with the extremes lasting for an extended period of time.
Dr Sheila George, food policy manager at WWF Scotland, said: “Last year’s extremes will soon be the norm rather than the exception and that will have huge implications for farmers and the environment.”
George unsurprisingly blames anthropogenic global warming for the weather, but I also don’t agree with her line “last year’s extremes will soon be the norm” — as there will be no ‘norm’.
Low solar activity and an influx of cloud nucleating cosmic rays will likely cause something of a consistent drop in global average temperatures, however the weather will be all over the shot.
‘Extreme weather’ will be the norm but not ‘last year’s extremes,’ as George says. There will no reliable forecasts, no calling on previous patterns to predict the future. The only assured thing moving forward is that the unpredictability will prove disastrous for global food production, leading to crop failure, then infrastructure failure, and then modern civilization’s total collapse — and that’s without even mentioning CMEs blowing the grid, volcanoes adding to the cooling, or exactly how deep this next GSM could go.
But try and have a nice weekend. Ha.
Perhaps spend it preparing.
Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift